One of Disney‘s iconic animated features, 1977’s Pete’s Dragon, is getting a modernized update and recent news has Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village, The Help) joining the cast lineup. Pete’s Dragon followed an orphan boy, Pete, who is guided and protected by a giant green dragon named Elliot as they pass from town to town trying to evade the abusive family who adopted Pete after his parents died. The film is known for it’s use of animation and live-action film as well as the popular single from the film’s score, Candle on the Water. Sean Marshall, Helen Reddy, Mickey Rooney, and Shelley Winters lead the original cast, and the film received two Oscar nominations for Best Score and Best Original Song (Candle on the Water). The new film will be helmed by director David Lowery (Pioneer, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and feature Howard as part of a cast that already includes Robert Redford (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting), Oona Laurence (Penny Dreadful, American Gladiators), and Oakes Fegley (Fort Bliss, This Is Where I Leave You) as Pete. While the original took place in a New England fishing town and featured a musical-style soundtrack, the new film will take place in a tree-logging town and not feature any musical numbers, save the actual score that plays along with the film. Filming is scheduled for this January in New Zealand at Stone Street Studios.
James Cameron took the movie world to new limits when he released Avatar to audiences back in 2009. The first movie to be filmed specifically for IMAX, Avatar’s special effects and cinematography won the respective awards at the Oscars back in 2010, and also won two Golden Globes for Best Director (James Cameron) and Best Picture. The film set a new standard for making special effects movies with modern technology, much in the same way as George Lucas did with Star Wars in 1977. Following the success of Avatar, Cameron started planning out a series of sequels for his cinematic adventure, which will now be hitting theaters Lord of the Rings-style starting in December of 2016.
Actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana recently confirmed they would be returning for the three sequels, which will be filmed back-to-back in New Zealand and are being written by screenwriters Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Shane Salerno. As I understand it Friedman and Salerno will be writing the first and final sequel separately, and Jaffa and Silver will be collaborating on the middle installment, but as of now there are still no details or hints regarding the plot of any of the three movies. Not to worry, though; James Cameron never keeps fans waiting for a movie that isn’t worth seeing. The director is co-writing all three movies with his screenwriters, and is behind some of the most memorable and successful projects in Hollywood, including The Terminator, Titanic, Aliens, and The Abyss. With all that experience I think it’s safe to say that fans have nothing to worry about; they just have to play the waiting game, which is nothing new to fans of Cameron.